USB Arcade Joystick – Complete!

The spade – spade connections weren’t very secure so out came the soldering iron. I definitely need a better one because it took ages to get the brass spades up to temperature, but it all came together in the end. Tested on Vice and MAME, and it all works! 😀

I Did Say It Wouldn’t Be Pretty 😉
Fully Assembled Without USB Lead Fitted.
Fully Assembled With USB Lead Fitted


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USB Arcade Joystick Project

Last week I purchased a custom USB joystick interface, and with the Amiga I had a broken Kempston style joystick (cable torn/bitten/cut) so this morning I did some testing.

It won’t be tidy (until I can find a way to pack it all in the same case) but today I’m going to build a 2 button joystick compatible with emulators such as Vice, UAE and MAME! 🙂

Parts Before Assembly

The spades supplied won’t fit the switches of the joystick, but they will fit the spades of the old joystick, so that’s a ready made adaptor 😉

Watch this space!

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Amiga 1200 Update – Microdrive Success!

I’ve done a lot of “playing” today. Some good and some bad has come of it.

Let’s get the bad out of the way first: the left shift key doesn’t work. The problem lies in the keyboard membrane itself, which will need replacing. I didn’t expect this to be easy given the age of the machine. The other bad news is the capture card I have is unsuitable for live gameplay because the lag is almost a full second!

Now I’ve done some work in FS-UAE and with help from a forum I can boot from the CF card with a directory from the computer mounted as a second hard drive so I can easily transfer files across between systems.

I’ve also been working on the Microdrive, and now it mounts automatically when plugged in, with a FAT32 file system! This means, when I have the Amiga set up as I want, I won’t have to open it up every time I want to get new stuff installed.

Microdrive Mounted – Dir of Contents in Shell Window
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Cycle “Adventures” Volume 125

One hundred and twenty five! Can you believe it?

I made a Vlog post to accompany this one. That’s 7 minutes of unscripted monologue. Am I getting better at it? I’ll let you decide.

As usual, YouTube videos are embedded, LBRY just linked. I hope WordPress updates their embedding code before too long!

Main Video on YouTube
Vlog Video on YouTube

Main Video on LBRY

Vlog Video on LBRY

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Amiga 1200 Update

I dug out an old IBM Microdrive and PCMCIA adaptor from my draw today, tried it on the Amiga but it failed to do anything (recognised but that’s all) with it so I went searching.

I found the updated device and file system files for the FAT filesystem on the Microdrive and installed them to the main CF I have installed. Now I just need to create a mountpoint, (not rocket science but going to need to be awake) and I should then have an easy way to transfer files from PC to Amiga! Fingers crossed 😀

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Cycle “Adventures” Volume 124

Quite a varied one this time around. Lots of impatience, of course, some causing mayhem and completely blocking a street as the lights change because nobody managed to realise there wasn’t enough room to clear the junction before passing the stop lines.

One guy decides I shouldn’t be on the road (that’s how it feels) so bullies me aside. No point in uploading to police reporting sites, they expect you to keep footage on the camera, but make it clear they’re not going to update you on the case unless it goes to court, so that’s an indefinite waste of card space. It’s like they don’t actually want these reports in the first place.

Interesting that the pedestrian we see fully blames me for scaring the shit out of him (he was yelling at me until I was out of earshot), as I gave plenty of warning, and plenty of space as I passed!

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, road narrow / chicanes are fucking dangerous for cyclists. Powered vehicle drivers think nothing of passing a cyclist on approach, then realising they can’t get through so slam on their hydraulic assisted brakes leaving the cyclist with a serious problem avoiding a collision! They don’t work for their intended purpose anyway! They’re supposed to calm traffic yet all too often just stop traffic completely for ages, causing significant queues at peak times. It’s about time these monstrosities were all removed permanently!

An amusing twist at the end. Probably not amusing for the passengers on the bus at the time. No idea what happened but if I find out I’ll update here.


LBRY embeds don’t work well on here, so you’ll find the LBRY content here.

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Definitely not going to spam this. Let’s see how much attention it gets from ambient visibility 😉

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LBRY and Cryptocurrency

Thanks to Dave Jones of EEVBlog I discovered the blockchain based content platform, LBRY so have been giving it a try. I signed up and went through the verification process for the rewards programme. The reason for this was because I like to give credit to YouTube creators and this seems like a viable way to do so without policy getting in the way, and without having to commit to every channel I want to support via Patreon, which can become expensive.

Verification took a few hours, but in that time I joined the Discord server, and got a feel for the territory. I read the rules so didn’t piss off admin by asking how long verification would take, I was just patient. This is the key for this service at the moment… not in a bad way, just something to be aware of due to the way it works.

Once I was verified I started claiming the starter rewards. Maximum 5 per day but patience… I currently have over 130 LBC. Not a fantastic amount (just over £4,50 at the time of posting) but not bad since I’m not even trying!

Next I decided to dip my toes into the cryptocurrency arena. More of that after I’ve finished with LBRY.

I then discovered how to sync my YouTube channels. Patience again, this took several days, but all videos synced well enough, and I’m now in the process of moving my main channel videos into a slightly more structured channel format.

The channels I currently have are:
Sync from YouTube Main Channel – This is a holding channel.
Ponder’s Random Channel – Videos that don’t fit my main two categories.
Cycling With Ponder – Cycling related videos.
Ponder’s Retro Goodness – Retro related videos.

I can also gain 20 LBC from people who join and verify via my referral link. It’s not a pyramid scheme nor is it a heavy referral scheme (I hate both) and it’s limited to 10 referrals maximum, so it’s not a get rich scheme either (200 LBC max). I’m not going to spam it so this is my one and only public mention of my referral link which you’ll find
>> here. <<

Now on to cryptocurrency, and boy what a steep learning curve this is without help!

It’s not my intention to invest in it, nor do I expect to make loadsamoney with it, but it opens my options and gives me more freedom, so here’s my trip so far:

I started with Biitrex, then discovered I couldn’t buy crypto, only exchange.
I found out the quickest way to buy crypto was through a Coinbase account. Now one thing to take into account with all these services is that they’re registered financial institutions and as such need ID such as passport or driving licence to prove identity. I didn’t take this step lightly so researched first and found no cause for concern.

I bought a small amount of Bitcoin, there is conversion fee to and from crypto which is something else that needs to be taken into consideration. As I said, it’s not for investing, it’s for open options. I sent some Bitcoin to my Bittrex wallet, and some to a wallet I set up on my computer as tests. Both worked without a hitch. Note: there is a fee for all transactions; not excessive and you can pay less if you’re willing to wait longer for the transaction to complete (and more if you’re in a hurry). This is when I discovered the problem with Bittrex… it’s not for small amounts. If I want to convert BTC to LBC, as I understand it I’d need to bit on an offer. The smallest offer I could find amounted to roughly £65 worth of currency, and I’m not going anywhere near that amount! I can’t even transfer my Bitcoin out because their fee eats up more than I have in that wallet, so my advice here is avoid Bittrex unless you’re going to trade big.

So now I’m in. The learning curve was so steep I needed mountaineering gear, but now I feel like I’m on the second shelf. I also have some BAT from Brave Browser Rewards so that’s another wallet of crypto at my disposal.

In summary, the simplest way to get into that arena is to sign up for a Coinbase account and work it from there. I hope this post is helpful and informative for those interested. I’ve wasted enough of your time reading this now you can get back to your normal schedule 😉

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New Acquisition: Amiga 1200!

Today I took delivery, from a friend at work, of an Amiga 1200 with a LOT of other stuff included!

Happy Ponder with Amiga 1200

First thing I did was test the PSU levels. All good so I connected it all up, using my less than ideal capture card, opened OBS and turned the Amiga on… IT’S ALIVE!

Inserted the Workbench floppy and I had a desktop to play with!

Turned it off, set it up on desk and started to record a commented video. Workbench failed to load. Stopped the recording and started diagnosis. Found out it has a 4MB RAM expansion (at least) and a HD already fitted, but defunct. No worries, I can get a 4GB CF based HD for £20 so that’s a near future purchase.

Tested one of the games in one of the boxes of floppies: Pinball Fantasies. It worked!

What I didn’t realised that was at some point I’d started recording again, so what you see is as it happened without my awareness of recording ?

Pinball Fantasies

The quality isn’t great, but hey, it’s not scrolling all over the shop. In all I’m really pleased with this. I’ll refurbish when/if time allows, and post any progress here, of course. Not enough room to do much in the way of recording while inside the guts of the machine, but we’ll see how it goes.

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Cycle “Adventures” Volume 123

This time around we have some right crackers. There is very much an impatience theme throughout!

Some highlights are a van driver caught using his mobile phone who needed reminding I was in his way, a complete twat of a truck driver, two close calls on one night that required a change of underwear and a very poor move by an empty bus!

I’m also uploading to LBRY now. The link follows the YouTube link. LBRY videos aren’t post processed so may be better quality.



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